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03.02.2020 Article

If Elections Were Held Today, Will Akufo-Addo Continue To Be President?

By Stephen Atta Owusu
If Elections Were Held Today, Will Akufo-Addo Continue To Be President?
LISTEN FEB 3, 2020

Upon assumption of office Akufo-Addo and his government put in place a programme of economic recovery since they came to meet a weak economy created by the ex-president John Dramani Mahama and his NDC. The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was weakened and it was gradually turning into Cash and Carry. Electricity supply was in poor shape and debts owed by the government both local and foreign were enormous. The loans owed to the IMF were the unkindest cut of all. As part of the loan conditionalities, the government was compelled to put a halt on employment of graduates, civil servants and all those who were ready to work. There was general poverty and hardship and many could not afford to send their children to high schools. During the first year, Akufo-Addo made a certain payment which pleased the IMF- Nana Addo agreed to pay the rest by instalment. After the first bulk payment, the directors of IMF agreed to remove the condition of no employment. Ghanaians can now be employed. The economic recovery has been very successful and according to the president, the programme addressed the key phenomena that needed to be addressed, like the rate of growth of the economy, the expansion of employment and other economic activities.

On assumption of office, Akufo-Addo's main ambition was to widen the tax net, lower taxes and in certain situations the tax was abolished. This happened in the case of 'kayayoos.' Levies imposed on them were abolished by the NPP government and excise duties on petroleum products were lifted. The government went further to reduce National Electrification scheme levy from 5% to 3%. Akufo-Addo and NPP's focus on economic policy on taxation and production did not end there. Akufo-Addo continued to score more points on achievements.

The NPP government made it a priority to encourage Ghanaians to take farming seriously. Many joined in and the government supported the farmers with fertilisers and herbicides. Food was produced in abundance and Ghanaians were able to buy food at lower cost.

Akufo-Addo turned his attention to the fishing industry. The government did everything to ensure that pre-mix fuel is made available to all fishermen.

During his campaign to become president, Nana Addo consistently and repeatedly announced to the electorates that when they voted him into power he would start a free Senior High school. It was packaged so well to include no admission fee, no library fee, no science centre fee, no computer lab fee, no examination fee and no utility fees. All students would receive free text books, free boarding, free tuition and free meals. Day students would get free meal at school. Agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at senior high schools are enjoying free SHS.

Nana Addo also restored the nursing and teacher trainee allowances which were scrapped by the Mahama government. About 58,000 nurses and midwives enjoyed this, with GHc400 going to every trainee every month. Many Ghanaians are of the view that the free SHS alone and the trainee allowance can easily propel Nana Addo and NPP to victory in 2020.

National Digital Property Addressing System (NDPAS) has been one of the achievements of the NPP government. Nana Addo launched the system coded "ghanapostGPS" as a move to realise the vision of formalizing the Ghanaian economy, and in accordance with the promise Nana Addo made to Ghanaians during his political campaign in 2016. With the address system, uber taxis are able to locate their clients through GPS navigator. Also to be able to acquire a new Ghana identity card, the requirement is the digital address of where you live. The system has come to stay and with time every Ghanaian will learn how to generate the address from their mobile phones.

One of the projects which the opposition thought would not be possible was "one district one factory" project. Nana Addo and NPP were eager to prove them wrong. From the onset, Nana Addo's ambition was to drive industrialization across the country. He therefore inaugurated the government's one district one factory project. So far 173 factories are ready to be rolled out as part of Nana Addo's initiative. Some of these factories were initiated by private businessmen with the support from government. In the end these projects will mark a giant step towards the fulfilment of promises made by Nana Addo and NPP during the 2016 campaign elections. The following are some of the factories. a pineapple processing factory in the Ekumfi district, another pineapple and orange processing factory at Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) municipality, a cassava starch processing factory at Fanteakwa district, a cashew processing factory at Tema, a fruit processing factory at West Akim district, a shea butter processing factory in the Accra metropolis. The list is endless!

Indeed Nana Addo created job opportunities for more than 200,000 unemployed people including graduates and nurses. The nurses marched to Jubilee house to express their gratitude to Nana Addo.

For all his achievements during the past three years, there is no doubt that Ghanaians will vote massively for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.

Columnist: Stephen Atta Owusu
Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads
Email: [email protected]

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